What I would like to know is the proper way to say "I am behind schedule" in the general sense, similar to "I am running two hours late for the meeting" or "this project is two weeks overdue".

When I searched for a translation for "I am behind schedule", Google gave:


Yet when I search for "behind schedule", the translation is:


I don't recall learning "behind schedule" when I took Chinese, so I don't know which one is correct, or if both of them are just poor machine translations.

Could someone please help with this?

2 Answers 2

I am running two hours late for the meeting.

There are various ways to say "behind schedule" in Chinese, depending on the context.

I am **behind schedule**.
我的**进度晚**了。(or **进度拖后** or **进度滞后**)

This project is two weeks **behind schedule**.
这个项目已**拖延**2个星期了。(or **拖后**)

Any borrowing country must be aware of the hazards of refusing to repay its foreign debts, 
or of paying them **behind schedule**.

Owing to various delays en route, we arrived two days **behind schedule**.

The project is **behind schedule** again.

I am sorry to say that we are three months **behind schedule** .

Programmes are running a few minutes **behind schedule** this evening.

The train's ten minutes **behind schedule**.

The flight is **behind schedule**.
班机**误点**了。(or **晚点**)

This project is 1 year **behind schedule**.

For "on schedule":

I am **on schedule**.

Please try to sail **on schedule**.  

He could have finished it **on schedule**, but somehow he fell behind.  

He was bidden to finish the work **on schedule**.  

The train arrives at the station **on schedule**.

The bridge was finished **on schedule**.
大桥**如期**竣工。(or **按期**)

All trains are running **on schedule**.
全部列车均**正点**运行。(or **准点**) 

For "adhead (of) schedule":

I am **adhead schedule**.

The plane arrived **ahead schedule**.

The task was fulfilled **ahead of schedule**.

The train arrived at the station **ahead of schedule**.
列车**早点**了。(or 列车**提前**到站了)

The train arrived at the station 3 minutes **ahead of schedule**.
列车到站**早**了3分钟。(or 列车**早**到站3分钟 or 列车**提前3分钟**到站)
  • Thanks for all of the really great examples! I only have one upvote to give, unfortunately. Commented May 9, 2013 at 22:36
  • @孤影萍踪 Would these usages be okay for conversational purposes?
    – MarkE
    Commented May 21, 2013 at 2:45
  • @MarkE Yes, all the Chinese sentences in my answer are good for both written and spoken Mandarin. I think they are just normal usage, somewhere between informal and formal. Commented May 21, 2013 at 17:16

Most machine translators won't be able to translate sentences containing idioms correctly. The trick is to rephrase those sentences to make the translation more straight forward:

I am behind schedule (idiomatic)
My progress has fallen behind schedule (rephrased)
我的 进度   落后于   预期计划
I am running two hours late for the meeting (idiomatic)
I am already late by two hours for the meeting (rephrased)
我  已  迟了 两个小时 出席这个会议
This project is two weeks overdue (idiomatic)
This project has already been delayed by two weeks (rephrased)
这个 项目    已     延误了 两个星期
  • 1
    Essentially try to be as verbose as possible. Commented May 9, 2013 at 4:12
  • @deutschZuid, that's right!
    – 杨以轩
    Commented May 9, 2013 at 9:05

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